On Jan. 27 Asheville City Council will consider several economic incentive deals, apartment development requests and a housing study that will help shape policies for years to come.
On the economic front, White Labs, Highland Brewing and Tutco Farnam are all requesting real estate deals or cash grants in exchange for making major local investments and hiring local workers. For a rundown of the details, see Xpress’ previous story, “Asheville Council Considers Incentive deals with White Labs, Highland Brewing, Tutco Farnam.”
The most contentious of the apartment projects on the agenda is a 309-unit development planned for Fairview and Stoner roads in Oakley. The 14-acre site near Biltmore Village would also include mixed-use retail space. The developer has been working with city officials over the last several months to revise the plans after encountering resistance from neighbors about issues such as the height of retaining walls.
However, many nearby residents remain opposed, citing concerns over increased traffic, affordability and the size of six-story buildings they say would be out of step with the neighborhood.
In order for the project to move forward City Council will need to approve a rezoning request; they’ll hold a public hearing before taking a vote. The original plan was scheduled to go before council in December but the developer asked to postpone the decision fearing denial.
Council will also hold a public hearing before deciding whether to approve a 168-unit addition to the Hawthorne South apartment complex along Turtle Creek Drive off of Hendersonville Road.
Most of the units at both developments won’t be rented at rates that the city considers affordable. A new housing study will be presented to Council that shows a drastic need for more affordable rentals. It will be used to help the city evaluate its housing policies and goals for the next five years. For more on the study, see Xpress’ previous story, “Study Highlights Asheville Housing Challenges.”
The Tuesday, Jan. 27, Asheville City Council meeting will begin at 5 p.m. in room 209 of City Hall. The full agenda is available here.